Strong fall for Milford girls, now boys ready to soar
MILFORD – The girls of Milford High School were certainly Spartan in their efforts this fall, almost hoarding the monster performances of the season for themselves.
Girls volleyball, teeming with underclassmen, raced to the Division II state semis.
Girls soccer piled up a 13-2-1 mark, grabbing the No. 3 seed in the playoffs and ultimately reached the quarterfinals.
And girls cross country qualified for the Meet of Champions for the first time in school history, featuring a pair of the Granite State’s best distance runners in Lauren Robinson and Becca Durham.
“Our girls programs certainly dominated the fall season,” said Milford High Athletic Director Marc Maurais. “It was a great mix of senior talent and young talent. We were very happy with the efforts from our boys programs, too. Numbers wise, across the board, we did very well. It just didn’t translate into the season for the boys.”
Second-year coach Beth Solan seems to have made a breakthrough with the
“She’s done very well. You know she was a student and a player here,” said Maurais. “She’s one of our few coaches, who are (teaching) in the building, and it makes a big difference.”
In cross country, there was no better Division II runner in the state than the senior Durham through September. A bout with Bronchitis slowed her in the late season, but she showed plenty of grit, rallying late to qualify for New Englands, along with the junior Robinson, who progressed brilliantly throughout the campaign.
“That was definitely a highlight as the team qualified for the Meet of Champions,” said Maurais. “We’ve never had that happen before.”
Somehow, some way, the Milford High footballers battled through a tough 2-6 campaign. A lot more might have been expected from a senior-driven bunch, but they just never got untracked in the season.
“We lost that home opener in overtime (17-14 to ConVal) and it really affected the team,” said Maurais. “They just went through a tough time trying to recover.”
The Spartans could take heart that their 42-30 loss to eventual state champ Plymouth was as close as anyone got to the unbeaten repeat titlists.
Practice is already under way for the winter season in sports like wrestling and girls basketball. And change is in the air.
Maurais is hard at work hunting down a unified basketball opponent for the Spartans to bring in for a special matchup during the school day. It’s an idea that has worked brilliantly in the past, allowing the student body to witness and understand how special the sport really is.
Speaking of the Milford High gym, if you didn’t visit it until late into the volleyball season, you haven’t seen the new and beauitful renovations. Upgrades include a new floor and new bleachers.
Milford also welcomes Len Kulikowski as the new head girls varsity basketball coach. A native of Merrimack, he’s been in the program before as the JV girls coach.
“He works well with the kids, and he’s ready to be focussed on the fundamentals,” said Maurais, who noted that numbers are so low in the program that he’s not sure if there will be a JV team. “He’ll know how to work with what will be a very inexperienced group.”
In other winter sports notes, boys basketball is expected to be strong again after a trip to the state semis a year ago. Wrestling is another team that should be busy come the postseason in February. Numbers are pointing to only a boys ski team as not enough girls have shown interest. The girls gymnastics program will most likely be back in business, while swimming and winter cheer numbers are holding very strong.